22 May 2006

Calexico - Garden Ruin :: Review

Calexico :: Garden RuinThe other day, we went out for some good burritos at the Laughing Planet on Mississippi Ave. While we were waiting for our food, I returned to the car for the diaper bag. On the way back, I noticed that the owner of a CD and game shop was fixing the door frame. It was busted by an attempted burglary the previous night. I had been wanting to buy the new Calexico CD, so now I had a good excuse - buying the CD would help the shopowner recoup some of his losses from the damage.

I couldn't wait to get home and play the new CD. This CD is not the Calexico CD of my past and of the band I love. This is different. The songs are much more palatable and almost "radio" friendly. There are no instrumentals. Even with these limitations, however, the genius of the Joey Burns (guitar)/John Convertino (drums) duo shines still shines through the production. The opening track, "Cruel" is a straight-forward melodious upbeat song with a great hook. Click here to view the video.

The second song, "Yours and Mine" is a beautiful song with beautiful minor chord turnarounds, Convertino's restrained brushed drumming and Joey's ambient cello hovering in the ether.

Other songs are great, including the nicely banjo-laden upbeat shuffling 4/4 "Bisbee Blue."

"Roka (Danza de la muerte)" is a more ambient Southwestern song with vibes, mariachi trumpets, and Amparo Sanchez singing the Spanish chorus.

One of my favorite tracks, is "Nom de Plume", an other-worldly, somewhat dissonant, song in the French about a raven. It features an erie banjo that leaves goose pimples.

Overall, this is a great Calexico album as an introduction to those unfamiliar with this fantastic band. Long time fans with either embrace or shun it as a clear departure from their earlier work. If they tour near you, be sure to see them live. This is one of the great bands of our decade.

:: peder ::

Posted by pederhorner at 9:22 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

20 May 2006

Internet Explorer 7 beta

Screenshot - TabsFor those of us who love the Firefox tabbed browsing GUI, Microsoft is answering that challenge with the newest beta version of the next Internet Explorer browser, version 7. The interface is streamlined, and nicely includes an easy RSS feed favorites function that allows you to add the RSS feeds from your favorite blogs/news sites easily.

Thus far, I haven't experienced any crashes. Everything is working quite well. The only thing I've noticed is some sort of minor glitch with the upgrade recognizing my saved text fields for data input/search forms.

A great feature is the thumbnail viewer that allows one, at a glance, to see a small screenshot of each tabbed website. Click here for a screenshot.

The new explorer also contains an anti-phishing tool. It's a nice security add-on, no doubt, but we'll see if it is ultimately useful.

Like Firefox, it features the ability to utilize third-party "add-ons", most of which are just gimmicks.

Overall, I think this is a huge leap forward for Microsoft and those who want the integrated functionality of i.e. and all the benefits of tabbed browsing.

:: peder ::

Posted by pederhorner at 9:34 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

11 May 2006

Breaking news from our nation's capital: Baptist Piper Stands for Ecumenism

Lone Baptist PiperIn a bold ecumenical move, DC presbyterians sent a piping emissary to the First Baptist DC church (rumored to be President Jimmy Carter's former place of worship). While the piper requested that his real name be withheld, he prefers to go by John Piper for cross-protestant gigs. Mr. Piper notes that while he still gets the occasional odd look from Baptists, he says, "It's usually the 'blue-haired' Baptists and not the young nu-Baptists that don't know what to think of a man in a kilt. If we can just convince Baptists to meet us on neutral territory, such as a pub for beer, the inter-denominational dialogue could be significantly furthered."

Local bystander Eric Johannson, a 16 year-old Catholic skateboarder, suggested that the two denominations could perhaps unite if Baptists would "lighten up on the whole no-alcohol thing" and the Presbyteriians would abandon their "weak" ways of Baptism. "I mean, who really thinks that a sprinkle is really sufficient?"

Whatever the motivation behind the good-will gesture, it is a piquant example of the sweeping current-day Presby-Bapti ecumenism.

:: peder ::

Posted by pederhorner at 4:27 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

07 May 2006

I miss like crazy...

1. My sweet, my love, Holly
2. My princess, Hannah
3. My son, Bennett
4. My curly-haired buddy Josh and the Pint Nite crew (Nate and John)
5. My church, Imago Dei
6. Portland

Love, from DC,

:: peder ::

Posted by pederhorner at 1:18 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack